Beauty · Lifestyle

Three Great: Vitamin C Serums


Vitamin C is one of the potent topical antioxidants available. This hero ingredient provides a host of benefits including protection from pollution and sun damage. Research has shown that using a vitamin C serum in conjunction with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is more effective at neutralizing free radical damage from sun exposure than using sunscreen only. You can think of vitamin C serum as an extra safety net underneath your spf to further protect your skin. These protective properties help keep skin looking younger for longer by slowing down visible signs ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. This is especially true when used daily, so consistency of use is key. The superstar active also guards against irritation and inflammation.

As well as preventing damage in the first place, vitamin C also has reparative properties. The wonder vitamin makes existing sun damage and surface pigmentation less visible by improving the skin’s natural healing process and blocking abnormal production of pigment to even out the skin tone and fade dark spots. Vitamin C is really effective at taking down post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation left behind after a blemish.

Perhaps the most lauded property of vitamin C is its brightening power which can help bring back that glow we lose as we get older and transform dull, blotchy skin to an even, radiant complexion over time. Vitamin C also acts as a natural collagen booster which is instrumental in skin firming.

A serum is arguably the best mechanism for delivering vitamin C as these intensive formulas have high concentrations of actives and are typified by their rapid absorption and ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Skincare buffs tend to apply vitamin C in the morning due to the protection it offers from environmental aggressors. There is however also a benefit to also using this in the evening due to its reparative actions. I believe that prevention is better than cure so tend to apply my vitamin C in the morning. I like to use other actives at night that play less well with daylight such as acids and retinol. I notice positive changes in the texture, brightness and clarity of my skin when I make an effort to use a vitamin C serum every morning. Here are my thoughts on three I have been enjoying:

Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules: Pure Double Vitamin C & Vitamin E Serum

The ‘Super Active’ range from Beauty Pie are targeted ‘one-shot’ capsules that contain high doses of stable actives. They are available in four varieties: ceramides (translucent pink), resveratrol (purple), hyaluronic acid (opaque pink) and the orange capsules contain two forms of vitamin C (pure vitamin C 10% and slow release vitamin C in microsponge 0.5%) along with vitamin E acetate for free radical neutralization. These two powerful antioxidants work together to help protect skin from environmental damage, improve firmness, even out skin tone, minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles as well as providing moisture. On application I feel that reassuring tingle that tells me that the vitamin C in the product is active. The scent is chemically but I don’t find it offensive. Beauty Pie state that these can be used at any stage of a skincare routine. The capsule form ensures that ingredients stay super fresh and makes them perfect for travel. I find these great for mornings when time is short as the serum also doubles as pore filling priming base. The 100% biodegradable capsules are made from red seaweed.

Here are the impressive results of a clinical trial:

24.1% improvement in skin firmness was measured after 2 weeks daily use
33.5% improvement in skin firmness was measured after 4 weeks daily use
13.5% improvement in skin smoothness was measured after 2 weeks daily use
15.5% improvement in skin smoothness was measured after 4 weeks daily use

Each jar contains 60 x 0.3ml capsules which equals 18ml of serum. Member prices on Beauty Pie vary, as they are based on the actual cost of manufacturing the product at the time of purchase, but these are around £12 for members and the price is £50 for none members.

Ole Hendriksen Truth Serum

IMG_0947The renowned Danish skin Cosmetician Ole Hendriksen was an early adopter of vitamin C in skincare. The trademarked True-C Complex in this serum contains stabilized vitamin C derivatives formulated to help brighten the skin and fight visible signs of aging. The inclusion of collagen helps improve skin’s elasticity. The serum is enriched with orange and green tea extracts to nourish the skin while aloe juice helps soften and condition skin. The sweet, energizing citrus aroma perhaps comes from the orange and grapefruit on the inkey list.

One potential drawback for some might be that this serum is that it does have a sticky consistency and remains tacky for a while after application. Products layered on top will pill if it is not left to dry for sufficient time. Make up goes on beautifully over this if enough drying time is given. The coloured glass bottle is aesthetically pleasing and I like the fun name! Truth Serum is £42 for 30ml.

Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C + Magnesium Serum

Described by Glossier as ‘brighter skin, bottled’; this lightweight serum instantly gives a gorgeous, luminous lIMG_0972it-from-within glow. There is also a proven long term glow: In a clinical trial 9 out of 10 subjects said the product gave them a healthy glow after 2 weeks. The milky emulsion soaks in rapidly with no sticky residue. Vitamin C and magnesium visibly energize the skin. A 5% Vitamin C derivative, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, is a stable form of Vitamin C, which helps improve the appearance of dark spots and creates smoother, brighter-looking skin. Magnesium PCA is included in the formula to refresh tired-looking skin. Magnesium is also a calming agent and anti-inflammatory, making it great for treating rosacea, acne, eczema, and minor skin irritations. There isn’t a scent to the serum and I think the frosted glass bottle looks super chic. Super Glow is £24 for 30ml which I think is a fantastic price point for this beautiful serum.

Final Thoughts:

I like all of these serums and chose which one to use based on my circumstances on the day; The Beauty Pie capsules are great for travel or if I’m in a hurry as they double as primer. The Glossier serum is also good if I’m rushing due to its fast absorpion; It also gives that instant glass like glow so I would be inclined to use this one if I wanted my skin to look particularly nice. I would use the Ole Hendriksen serum if I had time on my hands as this one does need a while to sink in. The Glossier serum works out at 80p/ml, Ole Henriksen is £1.40/ml and the Beauty Pie capsules are £2.78ml for none members and approximately 0.94 for members (this figure will vary slightly dependent on which membership tier you are on). If I had to pick an overall winner if would be the Glossier Super Glow as this one is the best value in terms of cost per ml and has the the prettiest finish on the skin.

A Little or a lot of Time?

If you want bonus skincare points; pat on an essence prior to applying your chosen vitamin C serum. Essences provide extra skincare benefits as well as prep the skin to effectively absorb subsequent products which boosts their efficacy.  This Beauty Pie Japanfusion M1 Hydra Prep Lotion contains vitamin C and grapepolyphenols which are powerful antioxidants:


If you don’t have time for a multi step skincare routine in the morning you could chose a moisturiser that contains vitamin C and spf. I recommend this one from Murad which is suitable for all skin types. I like this moisturiser as it is lightweight, provides a broad spectrum spf 30, has a beautiful refreshing citrus scent and leaves the skin with a glow:



Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Pure Double Vitamin C & Vitamin E Serum and Japanfusion™ Hydra Prep Lotion (Step M1) are available from

Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C + Magnesium Serum is available from

Ole Hendriksen Truth Serum

Murad Essential C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is available from is affiliated with Beauty Pie, Glossier, Boots and SpaceNK

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